EFM Logo

OCTOBER thru MAY

Thursday 9am to 2pm

call us: +1 (941) 445-9209

   

  • A Non-Profit Organization

    Serving Englewood since 2011

  • Fresh Fruits

  • Fresh Baked Goods

  • Organic Produce

  • Giving Back To Our Community

POST ARCHIVES

“ORZOTTO” with Ratatouille

This is another fun thing to do… Cook Orzo pasta like a “Risotto” (in half the time!)

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 40 min
Serves: 4 or 6 (depending on your appetite!)

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons olive oil 1 onion, thinly sliced 4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced 1 small eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3 cups) 1 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into thin slices 1 red bell pepper, cut into slivers 4 plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped (about 1 1/4 cups) 1/2 cup of Fresh herbs (oregano, rosemary, thyme) 1 teaspoon kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper
1lb of Orzo pasta
1 cube of chicken/vegetarian broth diluted in 4 cups of boiling water

Preparation:
Over medium-low heat, add the oil to a large skillet with the onion, garlic, stirring occasionally, until the onion has softened. Add the eggplant and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until the eggplant has softened. Stir in the zucchini, red bell pepper, tomatoes, and salt, and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 25 to 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and slightly caramelized. Stir in the fresh herbs and a few grinds of pepper to taste.
Meanwhile, cook orzo:
Sauté sweet onion in olive oil until translucid… Add orzo. Stir until well coated. Add hot chicken stock/vegetable stock a saddle full at a time and stir until absorbed. When the orzo is almost cooked (before al dente) take off fire and add fresh herbs.

Serve orzo topped with ratatouille and top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

I love using this “Orzotto” recipe for all different kinds of dishes. You can add saffron and serve it with shrimp or fish… Add fresh basil Pesto and serve with chicken. Possibilities are endless!

Use your imagination… And don’t be shy!

Putting ingredients together is how
great recipes are born…

Coconut Veggie Soup… one soup, many flavors

Coconut fish soup

Cooking is a creative process. Mixing ingredients together and discovering new tastes has always been my passion. Making simple recipes from fresh ingredients and inventing new tastes is really fun. Different spices in a same dish make for a different experience. A lot of different vegetables can be used in this recipe. Create! Invent! Below the recipe are a few ideas that you can make from the same “Coconut Veggie soup” that I made today. Recipes do not have to be intimidating. A few simple ingredients are enough to make a delicious dish!

 

COCONUT VEGGIE SOUP
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 20 min
Serves: 4 or 6 (depending on your appetite!)

Ingredients:
1tbsp vegetable oil
1 large sweet onion, sliced
1 large sweet potato or 2 medium, diced in ½ inch cubes (purple potatoes are fun to add for color and a different tecture)
3 carrots (I love the rainbow carrots for their fun colors), sliced
1 yellow squash, cut in half lengthwise and sliced
1 zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and sliced
2 cans of coconut milk (you can use the light for less fat)
1,5 cubes of chicken/vegetarian stock or 2 cups of broth
1tsp turmeric
Fresh cilantro
Lime wedges for servings
Preparation:
Sauté onions in oil until slightly translucent. Add sweet potato and carrots and cook until almost tender steering frequently, 8 to 10 minutes.
Add yellow squash and zucchini and cook another 5 minutes.
Add coconut milk, 2 cups of water, turmeric and bring to a boil. Add stock to dissolve. (if using liquid broth just add 2 cups of broth)
Check seasoning and adjust as needed.
Serve topped with fresh cilantro and a lime wedge

IDEAS:

– Add orange lentils or garbanzo beans for protein and curry powder for an Indian flavor. Top with fresh cilantro and serve with Naan bread (Indian flatbread, available in supermarkets)
– Add shrimp and serve over rice. Top with fresh cilantro
– Add fish (white fish like cod, red snapper work well), fresh mango slices and serve with scallions and a lime wedge for a Caribbean flavor
– Add chicken and curry powder (can be chicken breast that you will cook in the broth or use left over chicken meat)
– Add a touch of sesame oil, Nory (dried seaweed used in sushi) cut in small pieces, toasted sesame seeds and edamame for a Japanese flavor.

Chilled Cucumber/Avocado Mint Soup

cucumber soup
Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 0 min!!
Serves: 4 or 6 (depending on your appetite!)

Ingredients:
4 medium cucumber, half peeled, seeded and diced
1/2 ripe Haas avocado, peeled and diced
1/2 Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced
1 cup of Greek yogurt
½ cup of sour cream
juice of half lemon
6 sprigs fresh mint
salt and pepper to taste

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend on “High” for 30 seconds.
Voila! Your chilled soup is ready to drink… Tasty, easy to make and healthy!!

EFM Logo Contest Finalists

The EFM Logo Contest is coming to a close this Thursday, April 12th. The 4th and 5th graders of the Englewood Elementary School have taken this contest to heart and 91 entries were received by the Englewood Farmer’s Market committee in order to be judged. A task that we enjoyed very much! The EFM committee selected 25 finalists from which a winner(s) was picked. The winning entry, along with all of the finalists, will be on display at the Elsie Quirk Public Library for two weeks following the announcement of the winner. In addition, his/her artwork will be used on some of our special promotional items for next season, starting in October. Don’t miss this wonderful event, this Thursday at the market!!

See you in October

efm-veggies-bannerWe are very excited about our 2016 season!! Our season begins on Thursday October 1st. And we are looking forward to having all of the vendors from last season, plus new vendors that are waiting to get into our market! We are excited that we received a record number of applications this summer and we will be selecting the new vendors to join our market soon.  We need to hear from each of the returning vendors by Monday September 7th confirming that you plan to return for this season. This allows our review committee sufficient time to select vendors from the waiting list (which has now ballooned to just under fifty vendors due to the high volume of submissions over the summer). And just as important, it gives new vendors time to acquire all the necessary paperwork and plan their production for starting the season with the EFM.fa

Market Open Wednesday for coming the Holiday Weeks

Since this year, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day fall on a Thursday, The Englewood Farmers Market will be open on Wednesday 12/24 (Xmas Eve)  and 12/31 (New Year’s Eve), so that you can do last minute shopping for the holidays! Mark you calendars…

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Recipe of the month: “BOUILLABAISSE”

“BOUILLABAISSE”
(a classic fish stew from France)
Prep Time: 20 Minutes   Cook time: 40 min   Serves: 6

bouillabaisse

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
peel of 1 orange, orange part only (use vegetable peeler)
3 tomatoes, chopped & seeded
1/3 cup chopped fennel fronds (save the bulb for a salad)
fresh herbs of your choice thyme, parsley, oregano…
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed
Fish stock (you can buy pre made stock or make your own with fish trimmings and
shrimp peels)
10 cups water
1 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon sea salt
3 pounds of assorted fish (grouper, cod, halibut,salmon, shrimp and
shellfish (clams and mussels should be scrubbed clean)

Preparation:
1. In a large stockpot, heat the olive oil on medium heat. When hot, add onion and garlic.
Saute for 5 minutes until softened but not brown.
2. Add in the orange peel, tomatoes, fennel, fresh herbs, saffron, fish stock, water, wine, salt
Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 30 minutes.
Strain the soup into another large pot.
3. Bring the strained soup to a boil over medium high heat. Taste and adjust with additional salt if needed.
Add the seafood, adding in the items that require the most cooking time first.
If you have large crab claws, add them in first and give them a 2-minute head start.
Clams next, then the mussels and extra-large shrimp, lastly the fish, scallops and any smaller shrimp.
You want to be careful not to overcook the seafood, so 4-5 minutes max then turn off the heat.
4. Ladle bouillabaisse into each bowl with the seafood and garnish with fresh fennel fronds.

Degustation:
This is a delicious and light dish. You can also add any kind of fish freshly caught from the Gulf.
For those who like a little spice in their cooking, you can add a pinch of cayenne pepper.
You can serve the Bouillabaisse with fresh baguette or sour dough bread. Bon Appetit!!

Recipe for success

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Shoppers stroll through the Englewood Farmers Market last April. The Englewood and Venice farmers markets now accept benefit cards from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for purchases of fresh fruit and vegetables.

STAFF PHOTO / MIKE LANG

The connection seems like a natural: participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as food stamps) and fresh-produce vendors at farmers markets.

SNAP recipients could have access to healthy fruits and vegetables — many of them locally grown and/or organic — and vendors could expand their customer base.

Further sweetening the deal is the fact that the Florida Department of Agriculture sponsors a program that matches the benefit recipients’ expenditures dollar for dollar, up to $20.

Two Southwest Florida farmers markets — in Venice and Englewood — are already accepting SNAP cards and participating in the state-sponsored program, the Herald-Tribune’s Christi Womack reported Saturday.

The programs at the Venice and Englewood markets provide low-income residents with healthy choices while doubling their buying power through the state-sponsored plan, called Fresh Access Bucks. In addition, volunteers lead market tours and offer advice on preparing meals.

Given the 11, at last count, from Palmetto to Englewood — we hope others join the program.

Fortunately, other markets are planning to do just that.

The Sarasota Farmers Market — one of the first and the largest in the region — is considering implementing the SNAP program, Executive Director Phil Pagano told us Monday. Some individual vendors at the market already accept the SNAP cards, called Electronic Benefits Transfers, Pagano said.

“We are in conversations with the Manatee County Department of Health on how to proceed in a way that makes nutritious food more available,” Isham said in an email, “as well as education features and cooking demos to support healthy eating habits.”

The participation of the Sarasota and Bradenton farmers markets would be especially important, given their downtown locations and convenience to many beneficiaries of the SNAP and Fresh Access Bucks programs.

Fresh fruits and vegetables, made accessible and affordable to families in need, and provided by local vendors: That sounds like a recipe for success in any community.

The Bradenton Farmers Market is also interested in participating in the SNAP program, said Johnette Isham, executive director of Realize Bradenton, which operates the market.

Farmers markets now accepting EBT payments

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Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

Venice and 19 other farmers markets in the state will now accept EBT cards for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Those using them will get a bonus; a SNAP customer who spends $20 in the Fresh Access Bucks program will receive an additional $20 to spend on the fresh Florida food items.

STAFF PHOTO / THOMAS BENDER

VENICE – Farmers markets in Venice and Englewood are among 20 throughout the state helping low-income families stretch their shopping dollars.

Facts

SNAP program launches

Two south Sarasota County farmers markets will accept Electronics Benefits Transfer payments from people in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps.
Venice Farmers Market
Where: 200 block of Tampa Avenue, Venice.

When: 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays.
Information: Contact Linda Wilson, market manager, at 234-6321 or
linda.venicefarmersmkt@gmail.com.
Visit:
thevenicefarmersmarket.com

Englewood Farmers Market
Where: 300 block of Dearborn Street, Englewood.

When: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Thursdays, October through May; official launch of SNAP program is Oct. 16.Information: Contact Lee Perron, market manager, at 548-7843 or
info@englewoodfarmersmarket.org.
Visit:
englewoodfarmersmarket.org

The program, developed by Florida Organic Growers, aims to get fresh, local foods to people in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps, and to support local growers.Customers will swipe their Electronics Benefits Transfer cards at a machine at the market and receive tokens to pay for fruits and vegetables purchased from vendors. For each $1 they spend, they receive anadditional $1, up to $20.By doubling their buying power through the Fresh Access Bucks program, the goal is to help combat food insecurity throughout the state, said Carmen Franz, a program organizer with Florida Organic Growers.“The hardest part of these programs is letting people know it exists,” Franz said.Her organization targeted markets in urban areas deemed “food deserts” near transportation lines.Linda Wilson, manager of the Venice market, and Lee Perron, the Englewood market manager, worked together to bring the incentive program to the area.“Our hearts are in it for our communities,” Wilson said. “We share that same type of vision. We both try to go above and beyond what most managers do.”The managers are developing personal touches to teach customers about food options, getting volunteers to leadmarket tours, handing out recipe cards, helping people learn how to prepare food at home themselves and offering children’s programs.Robert Kluson, Ph.D., an agriculture and natural resources extension agent, leads monthly sessions at both the Venice and Englewood markets.“We’re trying to introduce people to more varieties of foods they may not be aware that we can grow in Florida,” he said.He said he learns from managers about community needs and also works with the health department about how fresh food can be part of the solution for health issues.“It’s not only bringing fresh food to people in greatest need, it increases the vitality and success of the farmers markets way beyond SNAP recipients buying there,” Kluson said.He said the new program rewards vendors with an increased customer base.“I love helping out the community and giving back,” said Dustin Thibodeau, of Fort Myers, who operates Dusty’s Produce at the Venice market. “They’re supporting us as local businesses.”Thibodeau, 20, has been selling produce since he was a high school sophomore and recently started his own business. He specializes in sustainable products grown with less pesticides and chemicals; he features Florida-grown produce during the season and brings in items from Georgia and the Carolinas in the summer months.The new program helps everyone all around, he said, emphasizing that consuming high-quality, fresh food helps overall health.Everyone is pulling together, Kluson said, including churches, governments, food banks, the health department, farmers and the transit system.“This is just the right thing to do,” he said.Funding is in place to keep the program going for three to five years, Franz said, giving time to create behavior change.The one-to-one match — thanks to funding by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Specialty Crop Block Grant — is an incentive to help people learn the benefits of buying fresh vs. processed food.“The farmers market is truly a nutritious and healthy alternative,” Perron said.

Last Market Day until October…

Photo: Don't forget that tomorrow is the last Market day of the season!! Come, shop (and stock up your pantries and refrigerators!!) and make sure to wish our vendors a great Summer!! We'll be there at 9am until 2! See you tomorrow!  the Englewood Farmers Market will be back for it's 4th season the first week of October...

Don’t forget that tomorrow is the last Market day of the season!! Come, shop (and stock up your pantries and refrigerators!!) and make sure to wish our vendors a great Summer!! We’ll be there at 9am until 2pm! See you tomorrow! The Englewood Farmers Market will be back for it’s 4th season the first week of October… We hope everyone had a great time this season and we look forward to seeing everyone again in October!

Florida Peach Tasting Event at the Englewood Farmers Market on May 15th 2014!

3peaches1It’s time for peaches in Florida so make plans to participate in the first annual Peach Tasting Event at the Englewood Farmers Market! The tasting event is free of charge. Renowned agricultural expert Dr. Robert A. Kluson, Ph.D. from the University of Florida Extension in Sarasota County will be conducting locally grown peach tastings at the Englewood Farmers Market on May 15th, 2014 beginning at 9:30 AM until Noon. The market is located in the 300 block of historic W. Dearborn Street in Englewood.

These activities will include surveys of customer preferences of different varieties from the UF/IFAS Peach Breeding Program. The tasting and customer surveys will provide valuable input to these UF/IFAS fruit breeding programs. Dr. Kluson stated “I really look forward to bringing these activities to the Englewood Farmers Market as the Extension’s way of increasing the public’s awareness of Florida’s fruit industry and supporting our local farmers.”

For more information please contact: Lee A. Perron, Market Manager, Englewood Farmers Market @ 941 548-7843 or via e-mail: info@englewoodfarmersmarket.org

Recipe of the Month: PEACH PIE

peach-pieIngredients:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
   1/4 cup granulated sugar
   1/2 teaspoon baking powder
   1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
   7 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
   1 large egg
   1 large egg yolk
   1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons peach preserves
   3 to 4 firm white peaches, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
   Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 375° and position a rack in the lower third of the oven. In a food processor, combine the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, lemon zest and butter and pulse to blend. Add the whole egg and egg yolk and process until a soft dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead just until it comes together. Press the dough evenly over the bottom and up the side of a 10 1/2-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom.

Spread 1/4 cup of the preserves on the dough and arrange the peach wedges in concentric circles on top. Bake for 20 minutes, until the peaches are barely tender and the crust is still a bit pale. Brush the remaining 2 tablespoons of preserves over the peaches and bake for about 30 minutes longer, until the peaches are tender and the crust is golden. Immediately dust the tart with onfectioners’ sugar and let cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting into wedges and serving.

Make Ahead The tart can be kept at room temperature overnight.

Englewood Farmers Market to help fight hunger

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Shoppers stroll through the Englewood Farmers Market on Thursday. In the background, just across Dearborn Ave., is the upstart Dearborn Market.



STAFF PHOTO / MIKE LANG


ENGLEWOOD – Those struggling to pay bills and keep food in their pantries will soon have a new way to buy foods fresh from the farm.

The Englewood Farmers Market will become the first in Sarasota County to accept benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps.

Not only will SNAP recipients be able buy Florida-grown produce or vegetables, a state grant would allow them to double the value of their SNAP dollars.

Lee Perron, director of the market, said the Englewood market has spent months working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to set up the program, order a mobile SNAP terminal and train vendors on what items beneficiaries can purchase.

He hopes to have a test run with the SNAP program in early May and for it to be fully operational by the time the market reopens in October after its annual summer hiatus.

“Once we go through all that and know the entire platform is working from A to Z, then we’ll officially kick things off,” Perron said. “We want this to be an extremely easy thing for them to do and to see the benefit of buying fresh, nutritious food from the farmers market.”

The announcement comes at a time when the public has turned its attention to hunger in Sarasota County, especially among children.

A report commissioned by All Faiths Food Bank and the Gulf Coast Community Foundation found that nearly one in four children in Sarasota County are “food insecure,” meaning they are unsure about the source and quality of his or her next meal.

Additionally, more than half the students who attend Sarasota County Schools receive government-subsidized free or reduced-price lunches.

Rachelle Lawrence, a South Venice resident who has children ages 3 and 7, said even when money is tight, she always tries to buy fresh food for her children.

“I always try to get healthier foods,” Lawrence said. “If we have to go without one thing to get something healthy we will.”

She said she was thrilled the Englewood Farmers Market would begin accepting SNAP benefits.

SNAP dollars can only be used to buy foods for a household, such as breads and cereals; fruits and vegetables; dairy products; and meats, fish and poultry.

The benefits can also be used to buy seeds and plants.

They cannot be used for items such as alcohol, hot foods, foods that can be eaten in a store or household supplies.

With the mobile terminal, beneficiaries can swipe their SNAP cards, similar to a debit card.

In turn, market organizers will give each SNAP recipient several plastic, colored tokens to be used like cash at qualified vendors.

Tokens used to purchase produce and vegetables grown in Florida will have a special color and designation. In 2013, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services awarded a group called Florida Organic Growers a Specialty Crop Block Grant.

The grant allows SNAP recipients who use their benefits to purchase Florida-grown fruits and vegetables to double the value of the money they are spending.

For example, if a family buys $20 of Florida-grown fruits and vegetables with their SNAP benefits, they will actually get $40 worth.

Perron said after each market, qualified vendors will turn in the tokens they received and will be reimbursed by the market before the next week’s gathering.

He added that the vendors he has talked with seem eager to begin using the new form of payment.

“I’ve already started talking with produce vendors, they’re all incredibly excited about it, especially the six Florida growers,” Perron said. “They see the benefit of SNAP in the community and doubling those dollars to feed more people. They want to be able to do this.”

2014 Logo Contest Winners

 

logo winner

 


And the winner of the 2014 logo contest is… Monse Aguilera!! Congratulations on your beautiful design!!
— at Englewood Farmers Market.

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Lee wearing our new apron with the Englewood Elementary winning logo. Proceeds from sales from Aprons and T-shirts will be donated back to Englewood elementary School

logo tshirt

 

 

Emily Troup explains to Karen Dowd’s second-graders about her organic farm and the foods they produce.

 

logo winner design

 


The 2014 winning logo by Monte Aguilera, Fifth Grader at Englewood Elementary School

 

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The Artwork was displayed in the Market all day yesterday and is now on display at the Elsie Quirk Library
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EES Gardens

EES Gardens 1Check out the gardens at EES planted with donations from Englewood Farmers Market vendor Dufour Family Farm. Thank you Vaughn Dufour!

Each class, K through 5th grade has their own raised bed to plant and nurture. Now you know why they say that Englewood Elementary is a “Good Place to Grow!”

Englewood Elementary School Art Logo Finalists.. this Thursday, April 3rd!

logo winner designPlease plan to join us as Englewood Elementary School will be having thirty-five 4th and 5th graders at the Englewood Farmers Market this Thursday as part of our second art logo contest! The EFM committee picked 35 finalists out of all the art work submitted by Dawn Hinck’s EES art students. The committee then selected the top 5 winners. The first place winner’s art has been used to produce aprons and T-shirts that will be sold at the market. All profits go to Englewood Elementary. We will have the art from the thirty-five finalists displayed at the market and the art showing will then move to the Elsie Quirk Library for display over the next 3-4 weeks. We plan to announce the top five winners and of course the first place award winning art work while the kids are visiting the market between 9:30 and 10:30 AM. This is going to be a really fun event and we all hope you can attend!

2014 Market Season… now thru end of May!!

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Great news!! The Englewood Farmers Market will remain OPEN through the MONTH of MAY!! The last day will be May 29th… Until we return in October!! more details to come…

Eat Near: Double-your-SNAP program coming to two local farmers’ markets

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Kim Dart points out a fresh fruit tray to her daughter, Amanda Dart, at the Sarasota Farmer’s Market, circa 2007 / E. SKYLAR LITHERLAND

The Fresh Access Bucks program sure sounds like a win-win. It allows recipients of federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program dollars to double the value of their benefits by purchasing Florida-grown organic produce at local farmers’ markets. Win one: for the low-income individuals who rely on SNAP to feed their families. Win two: for farmers who suddenly gain access to a whole new customer base. And it’s coming soon to Sarasota County, with at least two local farmers’ markets working to set up the infrastructure needed to participate.

Florida Organic Growers first launched the program in January 2013 after the nonprofit won a grant from the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and it’s already spread from Miami-Dade to Duval to Alachua and Pinellas and more. It works like this: If you’re a SNAP recipient, just swipe your EBT card at a farmers’ market machine. In return, you’ll receive tokens that can be redeemed just like cash at participating market vendors. And if you’re buying Florida-grown organic produce, you can double your money and get, say, $40 worth of fruits and vegetables with just $20 from your card.
Fresh Access Bucks have proven enormously popular, says Florida Organic Growers Community Food Project Coordinator Carmen Franz. In 2013, the program brought 1,247 new shoppers to participating markets, generating almost $69,000 in revenue for Florida farmers. Nationally, the number of SNAP recipients participating in similar programs jumped from 20,000 in 2010 to 40,000 in 2012.
While the original goal of the Florida grant was to have 20 participating markets online by the end of 2014, Franz says that goal is well within sight, and will likely be surpassed, with at least two Sarasota County markets joining the fold. Managers with the dormant North Sarasota market, which will be rebooted (tentatively) on Sat., May 3, are being trained on the program soon, and the Englewood Farmer’s Market will be ready to accept EBT cards in about a month.
“It’s a terrific incentive program,” says Lee Perron, who manages the Englewood market. They’re working on getting their EBT terminal up and running after beginning the application process with the USDA six months ago. Perron expects the reaction from vendors at the market will be “ecstatic” — ditto for SNAP recipients. “You’re not going to have better access to nutritious products,” he says.
One misconception about SNAP recipients is that they’re all unemployed, Franz says. In fact, the large majority are “people who are working that are making ends meet that need a little bit of assistance.”
“If you work full-time at minimum wage, you’re below the poverty line,” she points out. In 2011, almost 44,000 Sarasota County residents received more than $66 million in SNAP benefits.
Not all markets are crazy about the program. The extra manpower involved can sometimes be too much for maxed-out market managers, and some simply don’t want a SNAP-reliant clientele, Franz says. “There’s a lot of discrimination against people who get SNAP.”
But according to Franz, both the Venice Farmer’s Market and the Old Miakka Farmers Market have also expressed interest in Fresh Access Bucks. Franz says she’d love to involve the downtown Sarasota Farmer’s Market, which is directly adjacent to a central bus terminal, perfect for those who rely on public transportation. Phil Pagano, the executive director of the Sarasota market, says his organization has toyed with the idea of setting up an EBT system for years, but would need additional staff to handle the work. He says he’s open to considering signing up with Fresh Access Bucks if his board supports it.
While market managers can sometimes be reluctant to join in, Franz says, the vendors themselves generally want to participate. “They’re excited about having new customers,” she says. “It makes them more balanced and includes the entire community.”
 

These little kiddies went to market (Englewood Farmers Market)

ENGLEWOOD — The Englewood Farmers Market was alive and buzzing with the rhythm of swelling crowds moving through stands of colorful produce and fresh-baked goods.    Kim Douglas’ class of 18 second- graders from Englewood Elementary School added to the mix when they met up with market manager Lee Perron for a guided tour of the market. Over the past weeks, each of the five EES second-grade classes has had the chance to take a walking field trip to the market on Dearborn Street. Douglas’ class took its turn on Feb. 20 and other groups have followed in its footsteps.  “They get to see all the produce and farm products outside of a grocery story,” Perron said. “It was eye-opening. A lot of them had not seen that before.”  Leading the class through the market, Perron stopped at several vendors’ booths for a quick lesson and to sample an array of goodies. Eager to try the tiny green leaves, they first munched on broccoli sprouts from Simply Organics.    John Weil, from Weil Farms, held the children’s attention with an animated lesson about raw honey. He accepted a wide range of guesses before revealing that a honey bee makes about a quarter teaspoon of honey in its lifetime. Moving through the market with a new appreciation for hardworking honey bees, the group visited the Dufour Family Farms stand known as The Herb Guys.    Students clapped for Vaughn Dufour who previously donated flats of herbs and vegetables to plant in the schoolyard gardens. During the school year, students tend to the gardens weekly and have harvested and eaten food grown from Dufour’s seedlings. Every hand in the class went out as Jacob Rhoads from Rhoads Produce handed out apples.    The employees at Jonesez BBQ generously served free barbecue sandwiches to the entire class. After a short break in the shade, the second- grade class listened to a science lesson about erupting corn kernels as they patiently waited for a salty sweet sample of kettle corn. Students even got to bring home a sample treat for their dog or cat courtesy of Wood ‘n Purr gourmet pet treats.    With their tummies full, the class made its way out of the market and back down the sidewalk toward school. “My favorite part was the orange juice,” second-grader Nicole Thomas said reflecting on a variety of tasty morsels she sampled that morning.

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Olivia Roberts tries some broccoli sprouts at the Englewood Farmers Market as her second-grade class from Englewood Elementary School tours the market last week. Market manager Lee Perron has been providing tours for the last two weeks, and will continue into March.

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Englewood Elementary School second-grade teacher Kim Douglas, left, smiles as her class answers questions on a tour of the Englewood Farmers Market last week. EES students will continue touring the market through March.

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Emily Troup explains to Karen Dowd’s second-graders about her organic farm and the foods they produce.

 

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John Weil, a bee keeper for more than 30 years, takes a question from second-grader Gabe Todaro, regarding how long it takes for bees to create a honeycomb.

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Karen Dowd’s second-grade class at Englewood Elementary School gets prepared to walk to the Englewood Farmers Market Thursday. The special field trip to the market gave kids the opportunity to learn about various foods and meet several of the people who work at the market.

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Emily Troup explains to Karen Dowd’s second-graders about her organic farm and the foods they produce.

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Lilly Delfino admires a couple of sunflowers at the Englewood Farmers Market›on Thursday. Delfino and her classmates had a special field trip from Englewood Elementary to the farmers market to learn about the market and the various foods and products that can be purchased.

Press Release: Florida Strawberry Tasting Event at the Englewood Farmers Market on January 30th 2014!

strawberry-tastingIt’s strawberry time in Florida so make plans to participate in the first annual Strawberry Tasting Event at the Englewood Farmers Market! The tasting event is free of charge. Renowned agricultural expert Dr. Robert A. Kluson, Ph.D. from the University of Florida Extension in Sarasota County will be conducting locally grown strawberry tastings at the Englewood Farmers Market on January 30th, 2014 beginning at 9:30 AM. The market is located in the 300 block of historic W. Dearborn Street in Englewood.

These activities will include surveys of customer preferences of different varieties from the UF/IFAS Strawberry Breeding Program, Honeyside Farms in Sarasota County and the O’Brian Family Farm in Manatee County. The tasting and customer surveys will provide valuable input to these UF/IFAS fruit breeding programs. Dr. Kluson stated “I really look forward to bringing these activities to the Englewood Farmers Market as the Extension’s way of increasing the public’s awareness of Florida’s fruit industry and supporting our local farmers.”

For more information please contact: Lee A. Perron, Market Manager, Englewood Farmers Market @ 941 548-7843 or via e-mail @ info@englewoodfarmersmarket.org“>info@englewoodfarmersmarket.org

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